Have you ever been looking for a way to automatically update your website content? If so, it was probably hard to find a solution if at all successful.

WordPress As a standard feature, it allows you to schedule the publication of new articles, but when it comes to scheduling updates to existing articles, unfortunately this functionality is not yet available. You have to make do.

What can automatic updating do? You can use this functionality in many ways, e.g. you can automatically publish Christmas wishes, and then also automatically remove them from the website. However, this type of mechanism is most often used in marketing activities.

At the moment we are still in the Christmas period, so wherever you go you will find either Christmas accents or offers of price reductions. It would make your life a lot easier if you could schedule automatic content updates for your site during this period. You could plan and make changes well in advance and just relax now.

Automatic content update

Just because WordPress doesn't have this or that functionality natively, doesn't mean it can't be implemented. All you need to do is a little bit of research and it usually turns out that a solution to our problem is already available and waiting to be used. This is also the case with the option to schedule automatic content updates on the website.

To implement such automation we can use a free plug-in tao-schedule-update. If you don't know how to install it, take a look at the text "How to install the plug-in“.

After installing and activating the plugin, go to the list of pages or entries (depending on what exactly you want to schedule for updating). Find the page you want to change, hover your mouse over it and select the "Scheduled Update“:

list of pages

This operation will create an additional draft page, which we can freely modify and schedule for publication.

In our simple example, we have a promotion X that is still running, but at a certain point we want to change the description about it, informing viewers of the page that it has ended. The current content that internet users see is:

content before update

OK. We have generated a draft for the planned update and made changes to it. What remains now is to schedule the publication of the draft, which is done in exactly the same way as when we schedule the standard publication of new content. We need to select a future publication date, and then click on the "Schedule" button:

03

This is basically everything. Our scheduled entry or page will additionally appear in the list of pages or entries, which will look roughly like this:

view of the list of entries to be updated

If necessary, you can delete, edit or manually publish scheduled changes here. 

When the time comes for the automatic publication of a modified version of a page or entry, it will replace the previous one, thus disappearing from the list above.

I hope you will find this example of implementing automatic content updates on your website useful in practice. If you have any questions, feel free to write in the comments below.

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See also

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Uncanny Automator - another way to automate WordPress

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